Security intensified countrywide as Kenyans make merry
A heavy presence of security officers was evident on the streets of Nairobi and in other major towns during Christmas. Officers drawn from all police units as well as the National Youth Service could be seen on the streets and in shopping malls in Nairobi.
There was air surveillance and sea patrols in Mombasa and Lamu to ensure that revellers enjoyed their Christmas and New Year holidays without a hitch.
All police officers who were on leave were recalled to work. Police spokesperson Zipporah Mboroki said this is in line with the newly introduced regulations to ensure safety.
“So far, we have done well, there have not been any major incidents. Patrols have been increased not only in Nairobi but all over the country. All officers are on duty to keep Kenyans’ safe,” she said.
Deputy President William Ruto urged Kenyans to pray for the nation and the government to arrest insecurity.
In Nairobi, customers in shopping malls were frisked by National Youth Service recruits.
Ms Mboroki said owners of social joints should take responsibility by increasing security in their premises.
“This is a time when a lot of activity goes on in entertainment places. All revellers getting in should be screened. Luggage should also be checked. If anything suspicions occurs, it should be reported to the security officers,” she said.
“In the event that a business owner has reason to believe that police protection is required at their premises, they can report their concerns at the nearest station.”
Speaking at African Inland Church Fellowship in Eldoret, the Deputy President said that so much blood has flowed and Kenyans should turn to prayer.
“As we celebrate, let us also keep in mind that we have lost our dear ones to terrorists. The government is doing all it can to stop this senseless killings but we need your prayers,” Mr Ruto said.
“God tells us in the Bible that if we pray and believe, the Almighty can put a pillar of peace in our nation,” he added.
Mr Ruto casually shook hands with the public and was driven by his son.
He said each individual has a big role in ensuring security, stressing that people suspected to harbour evil plans should be reported.
In Eldoret, security was tight as people celebrated Christmas.
Regular, Administration, Traffic and Prisons officers and National Youth Service units patrolled the town as families thronged hotels for festive treats.
Security officers, who moved in groups of four, focused on hotels and parks where the public took photos.
Patrol cars carrying armed officers clad in full combat gear with bullet proof vests did rounds on the streets. The officers were also vigilant at ATMs and supermarkets.
Private security firms increased the number of personnel and screening in public places was more thorough. Most bus Saccos checked travellers thoroughly.
Eldoret’s biggest shopping mall, Zion was a beehive of activity. Officers were on guard as hundreds of people visited salons, hotels, drinking joints and movie shops.
In Mombasa, County Commissioner Nelson Marwa said security surveillance would continue after the festive period.
Speaking during a press briefing on Christmas day, Mr Marwa said security was not only for holidaymakers but for all Kenyans.
“There is no room for criminals. Security agents, both uniformed and in civilian clothes were deployed at hotspots,” Mr Marwa said.
He urged the residents to cooperate with security officers by giving information about any criminal act, so that action can be taken against the criminals.